German Olympic Trials Day 2 finals live recap

by Daniela Kapser 22

April 17th, 2021 Europe, International, News


The second of three days of the German Olympic qualification started in the morning with an event section of only 50 minutes. Only German swimmers who belong to the national squads and fulfill a mandatory time can participate at this meet. This requirement is intended to keep the number of participants as small as possible due to the Corona pandemic. There is one special regulation at the event: the Syrian swimmers Yusra Mardini and Alaa Maso are supported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with scholarships and are thus considered candidates for the refugee team, which was allowed to participate for the first time in Rio de Janeiro (BRA) in 2016. The IOC Executive Board will decide in June which of the 55 scholarship holders will compete in Tokyo from July 23. Both are eligible to start in Berlin even if they are not members of a German national squad. Mardini and Maso live and train in Germany.

No German swimmer managed to break an Olympic standard in prelims. Damian Wierling came very close to the target time in the 100 m freestyle in 48,67, missing it by only 0,17 seconds. He and the other finalists in the 100m freestyle are also fighting for a spot in the 4x100m freestyle relay tonight. The rules for the selection of the relay swimmers are that only the fastest performances achieved in a final will be used. Preliminary performances don’t count.

In the women’s 100m freestyle prelims, Annika Bruhn was the only one to swim under 55 seconds. Bruhn’s 54.97 is 0.87 seconds over the standard. Two women have already broken the 400m freestyle standard in previous Olympic qualifying events: Isabel Gose and Leonie Kullmann. In the men’s event, Florian Wellbrock, Lukas Märtens and Henning Mühlleitner dipped under the German Olympic standard. But only the two fastest are allowed to start in Tokyo. So far, Florian Wellbrock showed the best performance in 3:44.77 ahead of Lukas Märtens (3:45.29). Wellbrock is already qualified for the 800 and 1500 m freestyle, and he will also compete in the 10 km Olympic Open Water event. With such a demanding program, the question is whether he wants to compete in the 400 m.


Women’s 100m FREESTYLE – FINAL

  • German National Record  – Britta Steffen, 52.07
  • German OLY QT – 54.10


  1. Annika Bruhn 53.93
  2. Lisa Höpink 54.65
  3. Marie Pietruschka 54.73
  4. Hannah Küchler 54.88

Annika Bruhn broke the Olympic standard in 53.96 in the A-final. She stayed under 54 seconds for the first time. Lisa Höpink finished behind her in a new personal best time of 54.65, followed by Marie Pietruschka in 54.73 and Isabel Gose in 54.96. Isabel Gose set a new German national age group record for the 19-year-olds, but this time was improved in the B-final by Hannah Küchler to 54.88. The record was previously held since 2006 by Daniela Götz with 55 seconds. Küchler thus ousted Gose from the TOP 4 relay spots. Fastest in the C-fnal was Julia Mrozinski in 55.37.

Men’s 100m FEESTYLE  – FINAL

  • German National Record  – Marco di Carli, 48.24
  • German OLY QT – 48.50


  1. Damian Wierling 48,48
  2. Marius Kusch 48,91
  3. Christoph Fildebrandt 49,05
  4. Josha Salchow 49,09

In the morning Damian Wierling was very close to the Olympic standard of 48.50 with his time of 48.67. His personal best stands at 48.35. In tonight’s A-final, Damian Wierling undercut the standard time by 0.02 seconds and hit the wall first in 48.48. Butterfly specialist Marius Kusch achieved the second fastest time in 48.91 ahead of Christoph Fildebrand in 49.05 and Josha Salchow in 49,09.


Women’s 200m BUTTERFLY – FINAL

The 200m butterfly final was a one-woman show by Franziska Hentke. The 31-year-old is already qualified for the Olympics. She set her German record in 2015. In 2017 she won the silver medal at the World Championships in Budapest in 2:05.39. Today she achieved a time of 2:09.68.



  • German National Record  – David Thomsberger, 1:55.04
  • German OLY QT – 1:56.30 (standard has been reached by:  David Thomasberger 1:55.04)

Ramon Klenz also was the one-man-show. Ramon Klenz was the previous record holder with a best time of 1:55.76, so the Olympic standard of 1:56.30 would be within his reach. Unfortunately, he missed the Olympic qualifying time by 0.34 seconds, he was clocked at 1:56.64. David Thomasberger took the German record from Klenz  two weeks ago and cracked the German standard. He set a new German record in 1:55.04 and is pre-qualified for the Olympics.


Women’s 400m IM – FINAL

  • German National Record – Petra Schneider, 4:36,10
  • German OLY QT – 4:38,40
  1. Kim Herkle, 4:41,76
  2. Giulia Goerigk, 4:42,97

Only two young ladies competed in the 400 m medley. 19-year-old Giulia Goerigk was in front for the first 200 metres, then Kim Herkle passed her and took the win. Herkle set a new personal best time in 4:41,46. Also Goerigk was able to improve her lifetime best.



  • German National Record  – Paul Biedermann 3:40,07
  • German OLY QT – 3:46.40 (standard has been reached by: Henning Mühlleitner  3:45.55, Florian Wellbrock 3:44.77, Lukas Märtens 3:45.29)


  1. Florian Wellbrock 3:44,36
  2. Lukas Märtens 3:44,86
  3. Henning Mühlleitner 3:45,36

The three men gave each other nothing in the final and delivered an exciting race. Over the entire distance, they were always only a few tenths apart. Florian Wellbrock was once again the winner ahead of Lukas Märtens and Henning Mühlleitner. Lukas Märtens achieved a new personal best time in 3:44,86  and moves up to 7th place in the world rankings. Henning Mühlleitner also improved his previous best to 3:45.36.

Wellbrock is already qualified for the 800 and 1500 m freestyle, and he will also compete in the 10 km Olympic Open Water event. With such a demanding program, the question is whether he wants to compete in the 400 m. Henning Mühlleitner would only get the spot at the Olympic Games if Wellbrock would renounce. Lukas Märtens ducked under the German Olympic norms in the  200m, 400m and 1500m freestyle.


1 Elijah
Brisbane, AUS
2 Jack
Brisbane, AUS
3 Florian
GER 3:44.35 04/10 2021 Madgeburg German Olympic Qualifier
Madgeburg, GER
4 Felix
AUT 3:44.51 04/08 2021 Swim Open Stockholm
Stockholm, SWE
5 Gabriele
ITA 3:44.65 03/31 2021 Italian Olympic Trials
Riccione, ITA
6 Marco
De Tullio
ITA 3:44.74 03/31 2021 Italian Olympic Trials
Riccione, ITA
7 Martin
Kazan, RUS



Women’s 400m FREESTYLE – FINAL

  • German National Record  – Sarah Köhler, 4:03.96
  • German OLY QT – 4:07.50 (standard has been reached by: Isabel Gose 4:06.11, Leonie Kullmann 4:07.44)


  1. Isabel Gose 4:05,19
  2. Sarah Köhler 4:05,99
  3. Leonie Kullmann 4:06,25

Two women have already broken the 400m freestyle standard in previous Olympic qualifying events: Isabel Gose and Leonie Kullmann. Gose managed to improve her personal best tonight again and set a new German national age group record for the 19-year-olds in 4:05.19. German record holder Sarah Koehler came in second in 4:05.99. With a personal best of 4:06.25, Leonie Kullmann is again under the Olympic standard, but only the third fastest German swimmer. The performances of the three Germans influence the actual World Ranking: Isabel Gose reaches the third place, Sarah Köhler places fifth and Leonie Kullman seventh.


Men’s 400m IM – FINAL

  • German National Record – Jacob Heidtmann, 4:12,08
  • German OLY QT – 4:15,00
  1. Jacob Heidtmann, 4:14.00
  2. Danny Schmidt, 4:19,04

Only  two men took up the challenge over the 400m medley. German record holder Jacob Heidtmann, who is already qualified for the Olympic Games, took the victory in 4:14.00. Danny Schmidt finished in 4:19.04, just missing his lifetime best of 4:18.82.



As a refresher, the Olympic standards, German records, and already qualified swimmers in each Olympic event are as follows:

Women Men
Already qualified for Tokyo German Record German Olympic norm Event German Olympic norm German Record Already qualified for Tokyo
23.73 24.75 50 freestyle 21.95 21.81
52.07 54.10 100 freestyle 48.50 48.24
1:55.68 1:57.20 200 freestyle 1:46.70 1:42.00
4:03.96 4:07.50 400 freestyle 3:46.40 3:40.07
Sarah Köhler 8:16.43 8:30.00 800 freestyle 7:50.00 7:43.03 Florian Wellbrock
Sarah Köhler 15:48.83 16:16.00 1500 freestyle 14:59.00 14:36.15 Florian Wellbrock
1:07.01 1:07.00 100 breaststroke 59.85 59.15
2:25.00 2:24.90 200 breaststroke 2:09.90 2:07.47 Marco Koch
Laura Riedemann 59.77 1:00.00 100 backstroke 53.70 52.27
2:07.63 2:09.50 200 backstroke 1:57.00 1:55.87
57.70 57.90 100 butterfly 51.80 51.19 Marius Kusch
Franziska Hentke 2:05.26 2:08.20 200 butterfly 1:55.04 1:55.76
2:11.33 2:11.90 200 IM 1:59.40 1:55.76 Philip Heintz
4:36.10 4:38.40 400 IM 4:15.00 4:12.08 Jacob Heidtmannn
















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German swimmer
1 year ago

typing error for the german olympic norm in men’s 100 breast – should say 59,85s, not 58,85

got two qualifiers in that one – Schwingenschlögl and Matzerath

1 year ago

I think this cements Wellbrock as the favorite for the 1500

Reply to  John26
1 year ago

Germany hasn’t won an Olympic medal in swimming since ’08. And even then, the open water bronze by Thomas Lurz was the only one for the men’s team. In ’04, the only men’s medal was relay silver in the 4×100 medley. Stev Theloke’s 100back bronze in Sydney was the last individual medal the German men won in the pool.
This guy needs to get the German men out of their 21 year slump! They need a win.

Reply to  FST
1 year ago

Sadly your claim is wrong. Thomas Lurz won silver in the 10 km open water in 2012. I think any medal in the pool would be good, it doesn’t really matter whether it is won by a man or a woman. With Märtens and other talents like Selin (if he can get back on his track) or Schwarz it would be very surprising if Germany wouldn’t win medals more frequently on the men’s side in the future.

Last edited 1 year ago by AnEn
Reply to  AnEn
1 year ago

Why is that ‘sad’? I’m thrilled I missed a medal. Means they aren’t as bad as I thought they were 😀
But the results in the pool were indeed a bit ‘sad’ for the German men in the last 20 years.

1 year ago

Quite the 400+ distance crew they got there

1 year ago

No ill will against Petra Schneider, but it will be a beautiful day when her national record goes

Reply to  ooo
1 year ago

We all know that record is b s.

Reply to  FST
1 year ago

Just to clarify… she admitted that she had been given PEDs since she was 14. She herself asked – on national televison – for the record to be scratched.

Last edited 1 year ago by FST
1 year ago

1:42.00 is a pretty fast 400 free

Reply to  GATOR CHOMP 🐊
1 year ago

It’s not 3:42.00 either. Hopefully third time’s the charm

Reply to  GATOR CHOMP 🐊
1 year ago

Hahahhahahah… just tell her it’s 03:40,07 😉
She’s obviously confusing it with the 200 free record.

Last edited 1 year ago by FST
Reply to  FST
1 year ago

Yeah I just thought it was funny. I don’t mean to come across rude, I probably should have just included that in my reply.

Reply to  GATOR CHOMP 🐊
1 year ago

I actually think you can be a little bit rude about it. 1) it’s an epic record everyone should be able to name in their sleep and 2) maybe SwimSwam will give her some support for the German articles & the articles in German. They are a mess and the poor thing is a one woman show as far as I can tell. Not that German swimming deserved much attention in the past decade of course… but they are improving.

Reply to  FST
1 year ago

It irks many people that it broke Thorpe’s WR by .01 in a super suit.

1 year ago

Women’s 400 IM was the most surprising race for me. Obviously 4:41 isn’t anything extraordinary on a global stage, but it is a huge PB for Herkle (born 2003), which is always nice to see. In the past german swimming usually had the problem that talents stopped improving after becoming too old for the junior level.

Last edited 1 year ago by AnEn
Reply to  AnEn
1 year ago

As we see more kids going to America to swim in college, we might see more of them swim at a really high level past high school. But 400 IM in particular is a young swimmer’s race. It’s so brutal, when you reach the age when it becomes REALLY painful, you have to be a masochist to continue trainig for it and racing it. I don’t know how someone like Katinka does it… but that’s probably why she’s a huge star and I quit on my “400IM hurts like hell”-th birthday. 😀

Reply to  FST
1 year ago

It is actually quite the opposite (at least on the women’s side). Every year there are new wonderkids in women’s 400 IM and also women’s 200 fly, but pretty much none of them ever amount to anything at senior level. I think the reason is that you can get quick success in those events with crazy mileage. Later the mileage can’t be increased any more and those talents stall or regress. I think the correct approach is to ease into it and not do too many mileage too early. Belmonte, Hosszu and Margalis all were/are medal contenders in their late 20s or early 30s. Almost every year there is at least one 16/17/18 year old in Germany going between 4:40… Read more »

Reply to  AnEn
1 year ago

I haven’t lived and/or trained in Germany for almost 20 years, so I can’t comment on how things have evolved, but you aren’t wrong. There wasn’t much room for increase in volume when I quit… and pretty much everyone in Germany trained like that. But I still think that the 400IM isn’t generally a race for the 25+ generation, exceptions notwithstanding.
Mireia is 30 now and is obviously past her prime. I’ll agree with you on Melanie and Katinka, but they are exceptions.
Until Katinka, there hadn’t been a woman on the Olympic podium in the 400IM older than 25 since Michelle Smith in ’96 (and we all know that that probably wasn’t a ‘clean’ victory).
In… Read more »

1 year ago

The top 4 men had to combine for 3:15.50 or faster in the 100 free to qualify the relay and they combined for 3:15.49 …
Too bad for Josha Salchow who went 48.7 last week, but since it was in prelims, it didn’t count for the relay qualification, so he didn’t make the relay.

1 year ago

Eric Friese made the relay